Thursday, 26 January 2012

Re: The List

Re: The List – New Classes

To be honest, there’s not much to say on this subject anymore since I’m so dang slow that the semester has completely changed and it’s been almost exactly a month since I first made this list…

I will say that some of the kids reacted with outright glee over the changes, rather than being horrified about getting stuck with me. That felt rather nice. I had visions of them fleeing in terror or swearing in Korean at me.

But then the semester wound down, most of the older kids went on holding to prep for their finals, and the whole semester was over. That’s a whole other set of entries—if I ever get around to writing them, lord.

Re: The List – Same Old Same Old

I think this item got added to the list due to my feelings of getting settled in and enjoying myself immensely at the office. Yup. It’s routine but it’s also not. The magic of teaching.

Re: The List – Some students would miss me if I left, some openly despise me

The thing about hagwons is that they tend to be populated by two kinds of kids: those who are hardworking and driven, with a love of learning that makes them an absolute joy to teach… and those who are spoiled brats who are only there because mommy and daddy have forced them to come.

Can you guess which ones like me and which ones would happily watch me die in a fire?

Anyway, there’re a couple of students who have made it clear that they are fond of me, which is kinda awesome. These two girls in particular, I had them for my last class on my first day, and they made me feel welcome instead of like I was utterly hopeless and what the hell was I thinking when I decided to come teach in Korea. On this one night, I was covering for their usual teacher—it was around Boss and Miss K’s wedding, so we switched things up to give the soon-to-be-weds the night off work—and the girls’ faces just lit up when I walked into the room, and they sounded so excited when I said I would be teaching them that night, that I’m pretty sure I was grinning like a buffoon. The one girl has been my pal ever since she came down with this massive giggle fit in the staff office between classes, and she was still in fits during class afterwards. She’d get silent for a minute, and I could see her, just nearly biting through her lip from trying to keep her laughter in, so I’d ask her if she needed a minute, and then she was gone again. It got to the point that ALL of us were nearly hysterical, and I still don’t know what the hell she had found so funny in the first place!

This girl is also the one who told me she would miss me if I left. There was some confusion during a discussion we’d had sometime in November as to how long I was staying in Korea for. She’d gotten October and December mixed up and got all upset when she thought I was leaving in one month instead of eleven, and was delighted when she learned I was sticking around.

Of course now that the semester has changed I don’t have this girl in any of my classes and that makes me sad. And apparently it makes her sad too because she came right up to me and told me as much:
“Why are you not my teacher anymore? For MA* class?”
“I do not know, Laura*—it is a new schedule. Maybe next semester I will be your teacher again.”
“I am sad. I miss you!”
At this point I just about melted and told her I missed her too.

Still, I’m pretty lucky this semester. I’ve got some pretty good groups of kids this time around, which I’ll go into some night when it’s not 130 am and my lungs aren’t trying to forcibly eject themselves out my throat.

…sleep was bordering on opseyo last night. Whee.

*One of the class level codes we use at the school
*also, because Korean names are hard (or we waegukin are inept), the kids also get English names

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